The journey into the rabbit hole of curriculum writing continues. It has been the most commented on or discussed post I have written, which tells me that people are very interested in Curriculum writing and I think this is something that can really pique our interest as Educator’s to see what others are doing and consider what we do and reflect on the process of creation of our programs.
This past two weeks, our team has been productive as we look further at what we want to achieve as a PE Department and how we intend to do that. The main focus of our discussion in our initial meeting was:
What would a finished YIS PE Curriculum look like?
What would a finished PE curriculum look like to the stakeholders in our school (for our students? PE teachers; our Curriculum Managers? our parent community? our IBO requirements?)
and we took an hour to discuss these are role play out the stakeholder parts. I am reflecting as to whether it would be really valuable to engage with the stakeholders at this time, but my feeling is that we need to feel that we have a confident handle on what we actually teach at the moment and then we can look at how to review or to add stakeholder input later in the year when we have something tangible to share and engage over with our community. There is so much detail that will go into this work that we need to put something together that shows the main themes that are important and link/align closely with our school mission statement and philosophy so we don’t overwhelm those we want to engage and review with.
A few things to point out at this stage. My Dept has been working on curriculum re-writing for a long time, but we haven’t taken the time to complete this process in terms of the documentation and thinking about what this will look like for us. We started off by looking at the problems that were holding us back and considering factors that limit what we can offer to our students (including facilities, space, timetable, equipment etc) and then we considered what we needed to do to improve what we could (eg. purchase of equipment or modification of spaces to accommodate new unit options) and then we have gone on to identify what we hope our students will take away as they leave the top end of our program. Our mission as a Dept is not about elite sport, but the concept of Life Long Movement and working with others when inquiring and learning. We have looked at how we can offer more leadership opportunities (how do you identify as an independent learner, and then how do you work with others to learn together?) as well as looking at depth in our program for our Grade 9 and 10 students to grow and study at a higher level in PE. We have also looked at gross and fine motor development and studied when our students will have the ability to coordinate actions and body parts and used this to map when we start certain sports or games with younger students to make sure what we are setting meets their actual physical development (and emotional development) in our classes.
We have considered what concepts should be covered and tried to choose strands that will run from ELC to G10 in particular strands. And we have used our Concepts to scaffold from PYP to MYP to try and keep our students knowledge/inquiry/learning really driven through these games lenses.
So, now we have decided the next stages are:
- We have developed a PE Curriculum document that is a Level 1 map that has information from ELC to G10 (grade 11-12 is slightly different) and has snapshots of every important feature in it. I have included a screenshot of our unfinished work here. Thank you to Liam Claydon who has been the creator of this work based on our Dept conversations.
The idea here is for us to map out all of the main PYP and MYP information in one central location. This gives the whole dept access to what we are teaching and we can see exactly where we are hoping our students are as they start/leave each grade. If I get students into Grade 3, I need to look at the G2 map and check what they are likely to have covered and have a good picture of where I should start my lessons/units based on their knowledge and previous learning.
Our next steps will be to discuss this document and ensure that we have what we are actually teaching and then to update/create our specific Unit Templates that have the greater detail and make sure that they match our Road Map. It is exciting to know that we are getting close and that soon we will have something in place that the next YIS PE staff will then go and review/update as the parameters that affected us shift over time. (imagine what may happen if our YIS school relocates, the change in space or facilities would impact us so greatly!)
So, the next steps are to continue to remember that our Student Learning is first and foremost as is our PE/School Mission and Philosophy and then we need to ensure that our PYP and MYP needs are met too. WE are hopeful and grateful for all the advice we have had, please keep it coming.